Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween From Richie Rich and Casper The Friendly Ghost

Amazingly, these two Harvey Comics characters, Richie Rich and Casper the Friendly Ghost, shared a comic book in the 1970s and 1980s for 45 issues.

Here's the cover to #21....just in time for Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Superman Fights The Devil's Partner

Looks like Superman is in real trouble, fighting the devil, but the real problem of Action Comics #378 (July, 1969) is "The Devil's Partner", a story by James Shooter, Curt Swan and Jack Abel, under a cover by Curt Swan and Neal Adams.

This time around, Superman faces "Satan", or at least an alien with magical powers, who was sent to mess with the Man of Steel, along with a trident made with Kryptonite.

In reality, this devil is Rol-Nac, who happened to be an alien who landed on Krypton, staying there for decades, who became friends with Jor-El and Lara, and godfather to young Kal-El (a.k.a. Superman).

Rol-Nac was said to return in a future story (still waiting), but the Marauder, a viking looking alien villain who changed Rol-Nac into "Satan" would come back for a pair of stories in the 1970s, Action Comics #417 and #418, working with Luthor, Brainiac and the four-armed Grax!


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Batman And The Phantom Stranger Meet Superman The Vampire Of Steel

Seems like a lot of words to describe something that's pretty obvious looking at the Jim Aparo cover of the oversized Dollar Comic of World's Finest Comics #249 (February-March, 1977)...

....that Batman and the Phantom Stranger are about to deal with THE VAMPIRE OF STEEL!

Just one of four spectacular stories in this 1970s treasure trove!  Let's look back, shall we?

The Vampire Of Steel

Yes, it bares repeating, so how did Superman get into this fix (other than it being the story by Bob Haney, Kurt Schaffenberger and Tex Blaisdell) to kick off this issue?   Well, Bruce Wayne had a problem at one of his oil rigs, and why have a super friend if you can't ask him to do super favors for you?

Problem is, while exploring under the rig, Superman gets possessed by a supernatural force, so that at night, he attacks the crew (while Batman fights off forces on his own, with a little help from the Phantom Stranger).  Eventually, the real problem is revealed, and through some complex work, the Phantom Stranger stops the real evil, and Superman is freed from the force of the trillig (undersea vampire).

Will The Costume Be The Hero?

There's more!  Green Arrow is dealing with Black Canary being kidnapped by the Hellgrammite, as well as John DeLeon, the man who took Oliver Queen's fortune (and as readers found out last issue, bought his mansion, with the Arrow Cave and supplies underneath). 

So, of course, he figured out that Oliver Queen is....the Batman?  

What were Gerry Conway, Trevor Von Eeden and Vince Coletta thinking?

Picking up from the previous issue, where Green Arrow's costume was torn to shreds, Ollie has to take up Deleon's offer of a Bat-costume to fight the Hellgrammite's men (a darknight detective, Mr. Queen is not).

The Hellgrammite was a foe of the Batman and the Creeper's, who had come to Star City to not face super heroes (failed in that) and to take advantage of an aging population of millionaires with his "Rebirth, Inc." idea....the idea that these rich men give him tons of money, and he gives them back their youth (a con job, as Hellgrammite just kills them, but does it in front of another, with a bit of trickery to think the person is de-aged). 

Meanwhile, Black Canary tries to escape her capture with little success, resulting in her calling Queen for help.  This puts him back on the trail of John Deleon (who got away), but Ollie figures out where he was going, and puts a little Green Arrow work into his Batman bit, stopping the villain (who did end the Deleon problem by frightening him to death).  But, Ollie is in hot water with Dinah, as the Black Canary was none to happy to have to be rescued by Green Arrow (no matter what costume he wore....).

Moon Lady And The Monster

Still, there's more!  A joyous return of Steve Ditko to the Creeper in this issue!

Reporter Jack Ryder (secretly the Creeper) ends up having to protect the Moon Lady (a horror host of the Cosmic Broadcasting Network, as she is attacked by a monster.

Changing into the Creeper, he fights the Monster, who gets away.  Jack pawns off the protection duty to Fran Daye, so he can investigate, finding a slew of suspects (including a watch group who is offended by her broadcasts, her agent, her ex-partner and even the janitor), eventually unmasking the Monster...but, the Moon Lady was still done poor ratings!

A Fire In The Sky

Last, but not least, return to World War II with Wonder Woman (and Gerry Conway, Mike Vosburg and Robert R. Smith) as she faces Dr. Psycho, who has recruited Sgt. Rock and Easy Company with his mental powers!  Continuing from the last issue, where Wonder Woman had to work with Sgt. Rock and Easy Company, the heroes find Dr. Psycho (an old foe of Wonder Woman's with mental powers) working with aliens (the Krell), planning the end of the Allies, Sgt. Rock was under Dr. Psycho's power about to kill Wonder Woman....until she broke the villain's hold on him. 

Then, devolving the men of Easy Company, Wonder Woman had to face them, as Dr. Psycho lied to the Krell to get them to help the Nazis.  Wonder Woman found the truth in all of this, getting a captive Krell to tell the truth to his friends, so that they instead bombed Nazi sites, as she also stopped the doctor, and had him end his transformation of Easy Company.   She's a wonder, that Wonder Woman!

All that one issue! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Superman Meets The Ghost Of Batman

Holy ectoplasm, Batman!  It appears all the comics you've read since 1964 have been lying to you, claiming that Batman is alive, when, according to this cover of World's Finest Comics #139 (February, 1964, by Jim Mooney and Sheldon Moldoff), Batman has only been a ghost of himself!

Well, wait a minute....

...let's take a look inside this book, to find out what is going on.

"The Ghost Of Batman" (by Dave Wood, Jim Mooney and Sheldon Moldoff) begins pretty much like any tale of the day, with Superman, disguising himself as Batman, stopping the Sphinx Gang from completing a robbery (all so that Bruce Wayne can appear with Kathy Kane/Batwoman, to allay her suspicions of his being Batman), when things go horribly wrong, in that the gang appear to have successfully kill the Batman!  Now, Superman easily escapes their trap, to reveal Batman is still alive without blowing Batman and Superman's secret? 

Why, Superman poses as the Ghost of Batman, while Bruce poses as Superman.  

Eventually, (after a little unintentional torture of Robin, making him think Bruce was dead), the World's Finest Team lets Batwoman in on this (pretending it was all part of the original plan to capture the gang)....but, this reawakens her belief in Bruce being least until they borrow another Wayne Manor resident to help misdirect her investigations (though, how as close up as the video shows, would anyone mistake Alfred for Batman, even in the costume....but, hey it worked a few years later on TV!).

Now, there was a death in this issue, with the Aquaman/Aqualad feature, "The Doom Hunters"  by Jack Miller and Ramona Fradon, as this was the last new Aquaman story in World's Finest Comics for a time, where Aquaman has to save Tom Blake from the Daredevil's Club.  

Don't feel too sorry for Aquaman and Aqualad, as by this time, they were well into issues of Aquaman's own title, where, at the time, Aquaman was well into his courtship with Mera.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Detective Comics Centennial 300 and 400

This time around, continuing our celebration of Detective Comics and its many hundreds of issues....

...with a look back at Detective Comics #300 and #400, with the adventures of the classic Silver Age Batman and Robin!

Detective Comics 300

Batman and Robin face a new villain, "The Bizarre Polka-Dot Man" in Detective Comics #300 (February, 1962), under a cover by Sheldon Moldoff, and in a story by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris.

Yes, Batman and Robin fight a villain who bases his crimes around polka dots.  Surprisingly, Mr. Polka-Dot gives the Dynamic Duo a bit of a run, capturing Robin and eluding Batman, until Batman finds Robin, and the duo beat Mr. Polka-Dot at the location of his next crime.  Even more of a shocker, this villain returned (but not for long; he's one of a long line of villains people try to forget).

Martian Manhunter, who debuted in Detective Comics was still a feature in the comic at the time, as was a short lived Aquaman feature, having transferred over briefly from Adventure Comics as his own magazine was just starting.

Detective Comics 400

While previous issues might not have been much to write home about, Detective Comics #400 (June, 1970) had two separate stories that were pretty incredible, leading off with a Batman solo story by Frank Robbins, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano (with a cover by Neal Adams), featuring the "Challenge Of The Man-Bat".

This issue introduced readers to Dr. Kirk Langstrom, who had a fascination with Batman, and with Chiroptera (bats).  While Batman was having some trouble stopping the Blackout Gang (a group of thieves who used technology to see in the dark), Langstrom was working on a formula to give himself night vision (basically, vision like a bat's).  Langstrom did get sonar abilities, but he also got a bit extra, changing into a half-man, half-bat creature. 

The Blackout Gang tried to rob the Museum of Natural History where Langstrom worked, but while they could handle Batman, they were unprepared for Man-Bat, who kept to the shadows until after the villains were defeated, then ran away after Batman saw how Langstrom now looked.

Man-Bat would return, and more of his exploits are detailed here, as he would get his own feature for a time after a few more times fighting Batman, including two issues of his own, and back-ups in Batman Family and Detective Comics (and it is well past time that all these tales of the Man-Bat were collected in one volume for readers, though most of the earliest tales have been collected, including this one).

But, an even bigger treat is the second story of this issue, as Batgirl and Robin had been alternating back-ups in Detective Comics for a while, but, with this issue, and "A Burial For Batgirl", Batgirl and Robin teamed up without Batman, in a story by Denny O'Neil, Gil Kane and Vince Colletta.

Gotham Librarian Barbara Gordon headed to Hudson University to take advantage of their library, and quickly found herself (or, her alter ego, Batgirl), involved in trying to solve the murder of Amos Willard (with a student quickly caught, but she, as well as Dick Grayson, believed this boy was innocent).  At the end of this tale, Batgirl was being sealed behind a wall....but, thankfully, the tale continued to the next issue, when Robin finally appeared, and the duo captured the real culprit.

Batgirl has an Omnibus which reprints these tales (as well as half her Detective Comics and Batman Family back-ups, with a second volume coming soon, but, Robin's solo tales are sadly without too many color reprints!).

Action Comics passed these milestones too,  and there's still quite a ways to go to get to Detective Comics #1000!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Superman Meets Robin

To be fair, Robin was there when Superman first met Batman, back in Superman #76 (May-June, 1952), as well as being a part of the World's Finest Team since World's Finest Comics #71 (July-August, 1954), was a special thing when Superman worked with Robin without the Darknight Detective!

Here's the cases where that happened!

World's Finest Comics 200

The first time around, Superman and Robin became "Prisoners of the Immortal World" in World's Finest Comics #200 (February, 1971) in a story by Mike Friedrich, Dick Dillin and Joe Giella, under a cover by Neal Adams.

There was a bit of calamity on the campus of Hudson University (where Dick Grayson attended college), with Clark Kent covering the news for WGBS, when two brothers (Dave and Marty) were making the conflict personal, ignoring their safety, being stopped by Robin, but the conflict continued, almost killing all three when a bomb detonated....but they were saved by Superman.  At the same time, in another planet, two brothers there (Migg and Kartal) were looking for a living power source to maintain their immortality, and decided Superman would be a choice, so teleported him to their planet (bring along Robin and the lads by accident).  Leaving Robin and the two behind to be finished off by the local jungle, the alien brothers hooked Superman up to their machine to start siphoning his life.  Robin got the two human brothers to work together, and they ended up where Superman was held captive, and helped him get free, and Superman and the Earthlings returned home, with Dave and Marty having a new appreciation for each other.

The issue had a one issue text piece interview, with Superman, Batman and Robin reviewing the history of World's Finest Comics, including their origin, the first time Luthor met Joker, the first Mr. Mxyzptlk/Bat-Mite team-up and so much more over 200 issues!

DC Comics Presents 31

Another spotlight team-up of Superman and Robin happened in DC Comics Presents #31 (March, 1981) by Gerry Conway, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Dick Giordano, with Ross Andru and Dick Giordano providing the cover, which featured the duo facing "The Deadliest Show On Earth".

This time, Robin was sneaking into a circus that was staying in Gotham City, which he did because he saw an old friend of his there earlier that day, but Waldo Simpson the clown didn't recognize Dick (and he should have, as Dick toured circuses with Waldo, as a part of the Flying Graysons).  Robin found the hypnotized Waldo, and other circus folk, and was captured by a hypnotized Superman under the bidding of the mysterious circus master.  Robin was then hypnotized as well, and the two were part of the circus act for a bit (being seen by Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, who visited the circus as it was headed to Metropolis next).  That night, Superman freed Robin from his cage, said he was only playing along to find the master and freed the folk, and needed more time.  Sadly, the circus master found this out and set his slaves to attack, and while Superman kept them busy (restraining himself not to hurt the innocent), Robin figured out who was in charge, and helped catch him, freeing those hypnotized as well.

As a back up tale, readers found out "What Every Happened To Robotman?"...

...not the fellow from the Doom Patrol and Beast Boy's best buddy....

....but this guy, who worked with the All-Star Squadron!

DC Comics Presents 58

Last, but not least of team-ups featuring the Man of Steel and the Teen Wonder is DC Comics Presents #58 (June, 1983), which also included the Elongated Man, as this trio faced "The Deadly Touch Of The Intangibles" under a Gil Kane cover, with story by Mike W. Barr, Curt Swan and Dave Hunt.

Robin and Elongated Man are helping old circus performers by performing at a benefit for them, while Clark Kent covers the proceedings for WGBS.  His broadcast is interfered with by three men in golden costumes who come through the circus tents (literally!).  The Intangibles freed the circus animals, which Robin helps to stop, as Elongated Man and Superman are unable to lay a hand on the criminals, who embody their name, though Superman does use his vision powers on them (which he really shouldn't have, as these Intangibles were only holograms, designed to harness Superman's vision power energy, allowing the real crooks to power their real intangibility devices!).  The group begin a high powered crime spree in California, targeting movie memorabilia and box office takes, leading the heroes to realize the villains worked in special effects.  The heroes surprise the villains at their headquarters, but they attack Superman with a device that distorts his vision, rendering him momentarily useless, while the Intangibles attack Elongated Man and Robin with special gloves and boots, that allow them to touch the heroes, but the villains remain intangible.

The two figure out how to take the gloves off the villains, forcing them to surrender to be able to eventually become tangible, while the third is stopped by Superman, who returns after clearing his vision (by going to Earth's sun!).

The Intangibles later return to face Looker of the Outsiders and Hawk and the female Dove as the Untouchables!

Robin also appeared in DC Comics Presents #26 and #41, but the later was to keep Batman busy so Alfred could recruit Superman to fight the Joker, and the former, was in a special insert, where Robin and Raven met for the first time, and the issue introduced readers to Raven, Cyborg and Starfire for the first time a month before the premiere of the New Teen Titans title (Superman was busy in another story, working with Green Lantern). 

World's Finest Comics 205

While the Teen Titans never made another appearance in DC Comics Presents, the team did work with Superman in World's Finest Comics #205 (September,1971), facing "The Computer That Captured A Town" by Steve Skeates, Dick Dillin and Joe Giella, under a cover by Neal Adams.

Kid Flash, Speedy and Mal stop a thief in Fairfield, but treat Mal pretty badly after, Donna and Lilith are dreaming about dates back at their apartment, and Clark Kent says the Teen Titans are in trouble, on the air, but doesn't know he did it!  Meanwhile, an old man dies approaching a computer.  Sounds like trouble only Superman can solve....and gets weirder as it goes on.  They find out that old man was Richard Handley, who imprinted his backwards way of thinking on that machine, but, Lilith managed to get a psychic message out to Superman, who came, and stopped the dragon of evil plaguing this small town via an old man's dying thoughts.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Perry White Shows Superman Who Is The Boss

Clark Kent's boss, Perry White,  gets the spotlight, and more, with Action Comics #278 (July, 1961) featuring "The Super Powers Of Perry White" by Jerry Coleman, Curt Swan and Stan Kaye.

Perry White finds a strange fruit in his garden, and, after eating it, gains super powers, where he decides to become Masterman.  Really, the fruit was a delivery system for an alien named Xasnu, who has taken over Perry's body, and uses his new powers to try to finish off Superman to prepare Earth to be invaded.

Xasnu, as Perry, learns Superman's secret identity as Clark Kent, even following him to the Fortress of Solitude to attack the Man of Steel, who would have been doomed, except for the quick thinking of Supergirl...

...who exposes Perry to White Kryptonite, which kills all plant life, including the alien possessing the editor-in-chief (who has the memories of Superman's home and identity, so after Xasnu is gone, Perry remembers none of that!).

Better still, you can read this adventure, and a few more centered around the various types of Kryptonite in Superman #227 (June-July, 1970), which also has a cover by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Batman Vs. The Original Clayface

Batman has had a long history facing off against Clayface, but, for our purposes, time to start of with the very first...

....a man in a mask, who was on a murder spree in the pages of Detective Comics!

Detective Comics 40

Batman and Robin have to deal with "The Murders Of Clayface" in Detective Comics #40 (June, 1940) by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson.

Julie Madison, Bruce Wayne's fiance (seen previously when Batman faced vampires, as well as in the last issue of Detective Comics), has a new acting job, working on a movie called "Dread Castle".  Problem is, the actors on the set are really being murdered!

The first victim is the lead female, Lorna Dane, and the second, her boyfriend, Fred Walker.  Fred holds on long enough to say the work..."Clayface" before he dies.

This leads Batman and Robin to investigate the set, with the Batman tangling with some gangsters (who have no relationship to the murders), as Robin has to contend with Clayface on his own!  Thankfully, Batman saves Robin, but Clayface escapes.

The next day, while Julie is filming, Clayface attacks again, but this time Batman and Robin were ready for him, capturing the villain.  Batman removes his mask to find out he was Basil Karlo, an ex-actor who was the star of the original movie, "The Terror",  they were remaking, and got a job as a make-up man on this picture.

Basil would have gotten away with it too, if not for Batman and that darn kid.   

Detective Comics 49

"Clayface Walks Again" in Detective Comics #49 (March, 1941) by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson, and this is also the next appearance of Julie Madison as well.

Julie had become a big movie star, big enough that her agents required her to change her name to Portia Storme.  Having a successful career, Julie/Portia encourages layabout playboy Bruce Wayne to perhaps find something to do (not knowing how Bruce spends his nights).  Bruce, unable to give up being the Batman (or tell Julie of his masked identity), instead simply dodges the question.

Julie calls an end to their engagement at this time.

Making matter worse, the vehicle transporting Basil Karlo to an asylum becomes involved in an accident, with Karlo being the only survivor.  On the loose, Karlo dons the costume of Clayface, planning to resume his killing spree at the studio.

When Bruce learns of this, he (as Batman) and Robin head to the studio to look for Clayface, with each of them facing the foe individually without success, but that inspires Clayface to try to burn down the studio (capturing Batman and Robin inside as well).  Batman gets out, and goes back to rescue Robin.  With half the studio gone, the film company does try to continue to film, even with Clayface stalking Julie.  Batman has Robin guard her while he looks for Clayface, and finally captures the villain after it appears Clayface was able to shoot Julie with bow and arrow (though, this was just some trickery on Robin's part, who was disguised as Julie, with appropriate insulation to stop the arrow, while Julie was disguised as Robin).

These two tales have been reprinted many times, but the only times together was in Batman Archives Volume 1 of 1990 and in the Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Volume 1 of 2015.

Julie never returned in the Golden Age (though more of her history with Bruce was revealed in his Secret Origin from Secret Origins #6 of September, 1986).

There were Earth-1 versions of these two stories, as revealed in Batman #208 (January-February, 1969), with Bruce not completing an engagement with Julie.  This Julie returned in a couple of issues of World's Finest Comics (#248 and #253) where the actress married into royalty.  This Basil did return as well, as the aging ex-actor escaped confinement in Detective Comics #496 (November, 1980), but was killed by filmmaker John Carlinger, who assumed his Clayface identity briefly, to rid himself of his enemies.

Two other men had assumed the mantle of Clayface... Clayface II was Matt Hagen, who premiered in Detective Comics #298 (December, 1961), and became quite a menace to Batman for a time, with his mystic pool inspired shape-changing powers.  Clayface III was Preston Payne, who first appeared in Detective Comics #478 (July-August, 1978), who was a homely man who became a S.T.A.R. Labs scientist, withdrawing some of Hagen's blood to try to get his shape-changing powers, but instead becoming a man who had to absorb others to prevent his own cellular collapse.

After the Crisis On Infinite Earths, it was revealed that reports of Basil Karlo's death were exaggerated, and instead he gathered the other Clayfaces (including the fourth, Sondra Fuller, a female with similar powers to Clayface II, who was part of Strike Force Kobra that faced the Outsiders), and Karlo took genetic samples from them all to become the Ultimate Clayface, in a story that ran through Secret Origins #44 and Detective Comics #604 to #607 of 1989....and there were still more tales to be told of these, and even more Clayfaces, but time is melting away!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Flash Facts: The Supernatural

Barry Allen is a police scientist in Central City, and as a CSI, he believes in what you can see.  But, in his super-heroic identity as the Flash, Barry has occasionally run into magical menaces that tax the scientific method....

.....and deal with the supernatural!

Here's a quick look at two stories where the Flash was thrown out of his normal world!

Flash 194

Weddings are usually a happy time, but not so much when "The Bride Cast Two Shadows", like shown in Flash #194 (February, 1970) with a stunning cover by Neal Adams, and story by John Broome, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.

The issue starts off normally enough, with Flash capturing the Owl Gang, but things get weird when a lady named Joan Boardman wanders into the battle (as she's been possessed by the spirit of Elfriede Talman, a woman who disappeared on the eve of her marriage to Daniel Porter....100 years earlier!).  The spirit of Elfriede mistakes Barry for her intended husband.  So, Barry brings her home to Iris, then let's Daniel possess him so they can complete their marriage, where the ghosts go to the spirit world, while Flash has to navigate his way back, fighting demons along the way to get home to Iris (and find Joan restored to normal, with no memory of the events that passed).

Flash 224

Barry Allen might be the fastest man alive....but, who is "The Fastest Man Dead"?  Flash #224 (November-December, 1973) answers that question with a story by Cary Bates, Irv Novick and Dick Giordano, under a cover by Nick Cardy.

Charlie Conwell was a detective, and old friend of Barry Allen (who once suspected Barry was the Flash), who was running for Central City District Attorney until he was shot by hitman Bork (whose bullets Barry was unable to stop all of; the mob then took out Bork with a poisoned known relation to the Bork Batman and Flash faced).  As the Flash, Barry worked to spook the Maxel Mob who orchestrated the hit, but the Flash didn't know that he was in over his head fighting the mob....because the ghost of Charlie was helping him out!

Charlie's daughter, college student Stacy Conwell, comes to live with the Allens, starting with Flash #232 (March-April, 1975), and even exhibits the powers of ESP....but, they found the truth to be out there as those powers end up having a supernatural explanation, tied to a crashed alien ship she encountered when her twin sister died (as explained in Flash #240 of March, 1976).

Flash did have foes like Dr. Alchemy and Abra Kadabra, but, when Barry Allen faced them, their magic was really just unexplained science.  Dr. Alchemy from his Philosopher's Stone, and Abra Kadabra using 64th Century science (though later stories had both using "real" magic).

Still, Barry did have to believe, as he did work with a few magic users, like Spectre and Dr. Fate from the Justice Society and Zatanna from the Justice League (who helped with magical menaces like the Demons Three!).

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Batman Vs. The Vampire

Batman has had a long history, and during the course of it, fought many incredible menaces.

They weren't all based on science and detective work.  Sometimes Batman fought the supernatural, here is the first case of that, predating Robin and Alfred, in some of the earliest appearances of Batman from Detective Comics, when Batman faced a vampire (in a story so old, they didn't even have proper titles at the time....the title of "Batman Vs. The Vampire" was added later).

Detective Comics 31

First up in Detective Comics #31 (September, 1939) by Gardner Fox and Bob Kane, Batman stops Bruce Wayne's fiancee, Julie Madison (her first appearance), from killing a man in the appears she was hypnotized!

Out of concern for her, a visit to her doctor gets a recommendation to go to Europe for treatment....which she does by ship, but Batman follows in his just introduced Batgyro.  On the ship, Batman meets the Monk, who has hypnotic powers, who seems to get the better of Batman.  Leaving the area, Batman goes to find Julie in Paris, which he does, but is captured by the Monk.  Using his new tool, the Baterang (for the first time), Batman is able to escape with Julie, but the Monk escapes.

Batman follows the Monk to Hungary....and the next issue!

Detective Comics 32

Continuing where he left off, with Detective Comics #32 (October, 1939) by Gardner Fox and Bob Kane, Batman is pursuing the Monk. 

Near the Monk's castle, Batman captures Dala, a passenger in a carriage headed to the Monk's castle.  Bringing her back to the hotel where he was keeping Julie.  Batman finds Dala is a vampire, and forces her to take him to the Monk.  Batman takes the Batgyro to attack, but the Monk brings down the aircraft, and hypnotizes Batman.  Then, the Monk uses his mind control to send for Julie, so she can see the Monk throw Batman to the wolves.  Batman escapes, fashioning two silver bullets to stop the evil duo (and finding out the Monk is not only a vampire,  but a werewolf as well), and shoots the Monk and Dala, ending their supernatural existence.

Batman's secret origin, and aversion to guns had yet to be revealed, but would be in the next issue in a two page sequence.

These tales have been reprinted a few times, first in the 100 Page Super Spectacular #DC-15 (February, 1973), then in the Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told from the 1980s...

...and starts off every collection of Golden Age Batman stories whether they be Archives, Omnibus, Chronicles or more!

Oddly, the Monk and Dala have returned over the years, but thanks to Batman existing on alternate Earths, with the Earth-1 versions of them first appearing in Batman #346 and Detective Comics #511, respectively (with their story playing out over the next few issues), and then a more modern version showing up in Matt Wagner's 6 issue mini-series, Batman: The Mad Monk, being both a blessing and a curse to the Batman.

Detective Comics #31 had a classic cover, as Matt Wagner shown in the first issue of his mini-series.  Neal Adams did a couple of variants of it as well....showing the eternal appeal of Bob Kane's original cover!